It is when you get tired of paying for overweight luggage at the airport every time you travel that you come to the realisation that something needs to be done about your packing skills. Everyone knows that one person who, even when on a weekend trip, comes prepared for a month-long luxurious getaway to a beach town. This is not to draw a line between maximalism and minimalism, but sometimes, that extra pair of shoe or those extra pair of jeans that you pack in the anticipation that you “might” need them can really de done away with. Minimalist sensibility dawns on someone in that exact moment that they say no to something they will hardly or ever need at all during their trip. By Shubhanjana Das

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toiletries to go

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If you want to have one shoe option for everyday you go out during your month-long holiday, you do you. But for all of those who wish to embrace the life where letting go brings a liberating feeling of being unburdened, in more ways than one, this is your ultimate minimalist guide to packing for however long your trip might be, or however many weather and geographic condition it traverses.

1. Ask Yourself These Questions

When you’re standing with that fifth pair of jeans in your hand, remember that minimalist packing starts with less baggage not only in your hands but also in your head, meaning that it is all about the mindset. So, make sure you ask yourself these three questions before you pack it in or throw it away:

1. Do I love this?

2. Is it lightweight?

3. Will it serve dual (or more) purpose?

If the answer to these questions is positive, pack that item right in. But, if it’s anywhere near the negative, you know what to do. This practice helps you separate the “want” from the “need”, the absolute basis of the idea behind minimalism.

2. Get a Smaller Backpack

We all know what happens when we take out that massive 60L bag or a 75cm-tall suitcase with us: we tend to find more space and keep shoving it with more things that we could’ve done without. So, get yourself a small, compact, stylish, and durable bag so that it allows you the space that you NEED to fit in all the things you *really* need.

3. Essential Items

It is absolutely imperative that you know what items are absolutely essential for you and the kind of place you are travelling to. This varies from person to person, but usually, chargers, IDs, and legal documents come in the category of primary essentials as these are things that should be ticked off the list first. Besides those, a comfortable pair of shoes that serve the purpose of walking, jogging (if you are an active traveller), and perhaps even light hiking, a water bottle, a jacket/sweater, and perfume make for your secondary essentials. Although you are free to subtract or add to the list, make sure you hark back to the very first point we discussed and ask yourself those three questions.

4. Simplify your Toiletry and Make-Up Bag and Clothing

This means sticking to the absolute basics that you simply cannot do without. So, skip that extra ‘this is cute’ palette of highlighter or four extra lipsticks for when you *might* go partying, and that dress that you simply want to bring with you for no reason except that it’s new, it’s cute, or whatever it might be. It helps to find clothing and toiletries that serve dual purposes. For the former, think layering. For the latter, think essentials. Simple, right? We won’t give you a list of the things you must carry. The aim is to ease you into minimalist packing so that it becomes more of a sustained practice than a crash course. Like everything else, this is also about trial and error.

Related: This Hostel In Himachal Pradesh Is Redefining The Way Travellers Should Stay!